According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 28 people die every day due to alcohol related driving incidents.The high number of accidents led law enforcement agencies across the country to initiate drunk driving check points. So, what are checkpoints?
DUI checkpoints, also called sobriety checkpoints, are locations where law enforcement officers are stationed to conduct random stops and check drivers for signs of intoxication or impairment.
Thirty-seven (37) states and the District of Columbia conduct sobriety checkpoints, including Florida. Various law enforcement agencies across the State have instituted DUI checkpoints at high party areas and even at some universities.
Some places have regarded dui checkpoints as unconstitutional searches, but Florida employs them regularly and have caught multiple people driving under the influence. If you or someone you know was stopped at a DUI checkpoint and blew over the legal limit, speak with an experienced DUI attorney.
The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. have litigated multiple DUI cases across the Greater-Miami Metropolitan area, specifically in Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Call Meltzer & Bell, P.A. at (561) 557-8686 now for more information about how one of our DUI lawyers can help you.
Sobriety checkpoints were considered valid searches by the U.S. Supreme Court, as an exception to the warrant requirement. Still, DUI checkpoints are some of the most scrutinized types of stops under the Fourth Amendment.
Generally, once a DUI checkpoint case is litigated, the prosecutor must disclose the “checkpoint plan.” The checkpoint plan contains additional information about whether the roadblock was effective, and it includes testimony from the agency’s supervisor that set up the checkpoint and the names of any officers involved.
An experienced DUI attorney would understand how to request a checkpoint plan and any and all documents that support the checkpoint guidelines. Moreover, if those guidelines were not followed, a DUI lawyer would be able to file a motion to suppress any evidence unlawfully gathered at a Florida DUI checkpoint.
Since DUI checkpoints implicate both the Federal and the State constitutions, searches conducted as a result of checkpoints are regularly challenged as unconstitutional searches.
Most recently, the Second District Court of Appeals affirmed the strict roadblock requirements in Guy v. State, 933 So.2d 77 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008). A Florida man was stopped at a DUI checkpoint where the police found that he was already on probation for a felony DUI and he was driving on a suspended license.
The Court found that the Florida checkpoint guidelines that the arresting officers went by were inadequate because they gave too much discretion to field officers in determining which vehicles to stop.
Thus, sobriety checkpoint guidelines play an important role in the legality of a DUI checkpoint stop. Speak with an experienced DUI attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to learn more about the requirements of checkpoint guidelines.
Sobriety Checkpoints – GHSA is the State and Community Highway Safety Grant Program, established by Title 23 U.S.C. § 402. The office is a non-profit that represents state and territorial highway safety offices that implement federal grant programs. The website discusses sobriety checkpoints, the guidelines, and the states that utilize them.
If you or someone you know was arrested for driving under the influence at a West Palm Beach roadblock or sobriety checkpoint, then contact the experienced DUI defense attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A..
We have handled multiple types of DUI cases and are knowledgeable about DUI defense throughout Palm Beach County, Florida, and in the surrounding areas of Broward County and Miami-Dade County, FL.
Call (561) 557-8686 now or fill out our online evaluation form to schedule a consultation about your case.
This article was last updated on Wednesday, August 30, 2017.
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